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Allegri: Juve never finish games off when in control

Manager’s comments after inexplicable late collapse

Juventus v Cagliari - Serie A Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Juventus contrived to dominate their Champions League fixture against Manchester United yet throw away a lead late in the game to succumb to a 2-1 defeat, and throw their group wide open again at the same time.

Speaking after the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was left ruing what could have been.

“It’s a disappointing defeat, because the team played well. We need to improve our finishing, because we never manage to finish games off when we’re in control.”

The introduction of Marouane Fellaini changed the game with his aerial prowess, but despite knowing that Juve still failed to kill off the threat.

“We knew with Fellaini on that we had to avoid giving away free kicks, but we’re doing that too much this season, giving away a lot of free kicks.

“The only way Manchester United were ever going to score was from set plays and we gave them the opportunities.”

Allegri struck a philosophical tone though with two games still left to play in the group stages.

“Nonetheless, we are still top of the group. It’s understandable to have a win and a defeat to Manchester United, although probably not when you look at how the games actually went…

“I think it’ll do us good in the long run, as we need to learn not to fall asleep in these situations. I saw Manchester United play the same way in the Premier League at the weekend, they did very little for 80 minutes and then won in very similar circumstances.

“We had the chance today to secure the top spot early. I compliment my team for a good performance, but a good performance without a result isn’t worth very much.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a spectacular goal against his former side, but Juve also hit the woodwork twice as well as wasting a number of other chances.

“Ronaldo’s goal was extraordinary, but we had so many chances. If we’d really gone for it, we’d have scored three or four in the first half alone.

“You can win or lose in football, the good news is we lost the least important game.”

United manager Jose Mourinho talked after the game about his act of taunting the home fans by cupping his ear at them.

“I was insulted for 90 minutes. I came here to do my job, nothing more. I didn’t offend anyone at the end, I just made a gesture that I wanted to hear them louder. I probably shouldn’t have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn’t have done it, but with my family insulted, including my Inter family, I reacted like this.

“We played a fantastic game, to our top level, as we cannot be any better than this. We came here to play like a team that was against a side with different potential on every level. We managed to win because we played a very, very positive match and we looked for the victory to the very end. We looked for it.”